The Nutcracker

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The New York City ballet nutcracker is the ultimate.Whether it is a

family tradition to see this spectacular show, or a once in a lifetime visit,

the experiene of this glittering performance will stay with you the rest of

your life.

Filled with wonder, excitement, and beauty, the Nutcracker is a perfect

way to spend the holiday season. From the moment the lights dim, you

will be transported to a magical place filled with adorable children,

marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree that seemingly

grows forever, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the

Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth.

The Sugar Plum Fairy.

Waltz of the Snowflakes

Arabian Dance (this is one of my favorites)

Whether this holiday season or next, whether you’re a dancer or not,

I believe everyone should see this spectacular show! It is something that

I will take my kids to every year.It has been a holiday tradition in my life,

and I am so excited to continue it.

Killer Choreographers!!

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You should all take classes from these people they are truly amazing artists! 

DJ GUTHRIE

DJ teaches at the Edge dance studio in LA. He was a musician before a choreographer which makes his work extremely musical and intricate. He focuses on making the choreography work through the music. There is always a visual to his movement, a focus and a direction.I love his musicality.

BRIAN FRIEDMAN

Wade Robson is part of the PULSE convention. He is a choreographer with his own style and is truly an amazing artist. He has worked with many artists such as Brittany Spears, NSync, Michael Jackson, and So You Think You Can Dance. Here is one of my favorite pieces that he has done. His work is usually tied to a strong theme, which gives the dancers the job of acting as well as moving. Something it takes to truly capture an audience.

SONYA TAYEH

Sonya Tayeh is someone from a different dimension. She has choreographed countless amazing people most of which have been seen my the masses on So You Think You Can Dance. She is a very powerful choreographer with very distinct choreography. She teaches at The Edge studio in LA and if you can I would definitely recommend taking her class.

This is just three of the dozens of brilliant artists that teach here in Southern California. Taking class from these choreographers truly helped me grow as a dancer and choreographer myself! I respect all of them so much.

Musicality

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There is so much more to musicality then simply being “on time” with the music. There is an element of literally feeling the music, and letting it carry the body through movement. I found this blog that I believe stated it perfectly. I would like to share it here with you along with some of my own personal thoughts and of course amazing videos to prove my point.

The blog Dance Advantage has a post on Musicality in Dance: What is it? Can it be taught?

Musicality in dance has two main components. Receptivity and Creativity.

Musical receptivity is ones ability to receive, comprehend, be sensitive to, and have a working knowledge of musical concepts like rhythm, tempo, phrasing, and even mood.

Musical creativity (or musical artistry) is the ability to connect with accompanying music, interpret it, or phrase and add movement dynamics that relate to music even in the absence of accompaniment, in a way that is unique or interesting.

The video below is a perfect example of dancers making their own beats and accents with their body. Even in the “absence of accompaniment,” the dancers creates music of his own through his body. The Les twins are one of the best portrayals of musicality I have ever seen!

Musicality in dance then might be considered a measure or degree to which a dancer is receptive and creative in his translation or rendering of music through movement. It is a key ingredient in a dancer’s display of artistry (more on developing artistry can be found here).

I think that what we consider “natural” ability is mostly learned in a sense, albeit for some very early in life. My son at 2 already displays a very “natural” sense of rhythm and musical awareness however he also heard and felt music and movement from within my body as I taught classes, we dance around our home, music is often a part of our daily routine… Perhaps it goes back to those synapses that people form very early in life, why its best and easiest to learn languages at a very young age for example. Music is another kind of language and those neural pathways are opened through exposure and experience when we are young [sometimes very, very young]. As we get older it may be harder to carve out those pathways, just as it harder to learn a language as one gets older. But I do think it is possible to develop greater musical awareness and comprehension in students with time and exposure (and a willingness on the part of the student since learning is of course a two-way street). Will those that are not “naturals” ever catch up with those that are? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s worth a try.

These dancers display an amazing sense of musicality. The dancer in the blue shirt and shorts in the first group, Alexa,  has been dancing her entire life, and musicality is natural for her. On the other hand the second dancer, Mataya, did not grow up with dance, however her understanding of music is incredible.

Though babies show a preference for moving to a rhythm, even in this recent study [Babies are born to dance to the beat - telegraph.co.uk], it seems individuals display varying degrees of accuracy. In thinking more on this topic, I realized that there will always be degrees of potential and talent, which may be either naturally genetic or nurtured very early. Either way, as teachers we can establish greater receptivity in our students by giving them the opportunity to be receptive. We can provide plenty of practice so that they have the tools to expand their musical creativity.

Dance as Art

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Dance itself is art, yes, as seen in the video above. However there are amazing things that a producer can do using many different art forms to create a real work of art. Things such as lighting, camera angles, setting, scenery etc. This video is an amazing use of all of these art forms together. Also the woman who does the works of Weightless by Erika Janunger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiJhRjBEm6o&feature=related uses these as well to create a true piece of art.

Aesthetics is a hard thing to pin point. What is beautiful? What is art? There are many different answers to these questions that many different philosophers have thought up http://www.philosophyarchive.com/index.php?title=Philosophy_of_Aesthetics. However there is something to be said for a genuine piece of art. These pieces, the video below, and the link above are proof of this.

Also in photography, there are many different things that take place in capturing the moment that show dance as art. Again, the lighting, framing, lens, placement, color, etc. are major effects that go into making dance a true piece of art.

To the Pointe!

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The common phrase “if dance were any easier it would be football,” has its merit! Dancers have to do the hard work AND make it look pretty!

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve that graceful air on stage. Take a look at this! #ballarinashaveuglyfeet

Pointe has its beauty and its pain, while it graceful and elegant, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to become proficient. #success

There are many aspects to pointe a dancer needs to consider. Mainly taking care of the feet! So many dancers do not know the necessity of personal physical therapy and knowledge about the body.

Tape your toes, keep your toe nails nice (not too short not too long), have the right toe pads, massage feet with tennis ball and pressure points before and after class. #advice

Many young dancers want to jump right into pointe because it is so pretty. However, the foot does not reach full development until 12 years of age!

It is important to take pre-pointe classes to strengthen ankles and feet, center and latissimus dorsi (lats).

Make sure you have the right shoe! It is so important to be fitted by someone who knows pointe shoes and feet well. The right shoe can make all the difference.

Dancing on point requires so much more center and control then dancing on flat. This gives a dancer strength to succeed in other styles as well! #success

I took a killer point class tonight actually! And i’ll be sore tomorrow! #yesworkingout!

Hope that told you a little about pointe!